Press Release – Zealandia
Prominent Wellingtonian Hilary Beaton is welcomed today to Zealandia by the Karori Sanctuary Trust Board. Ms Beaton has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive, which she will take up in late October.
Zealandia, operating this year under both a new Board and strategic Enhanced Partnership with Wellington City Council, has conducted a wide-ranging search for the right person to drive its revitalised vision forward.
“Hilary will bring the ideal balance of energy and experience to help us meet our future challenges,” says Board Chair Denise Church. “We’re responsible on behalf of our community for a magnificent part of Wellington’s natural infrastructure. The broader context is the furthering of a Wellington initiative for world class contributions in community based conservation, research, education, and visitor experience, all within a tight economic climate. Given where we currently are on that journey, we couldn’t think of a better person to take up the mantle than Hilary.”
Ms Beaton, Fairfax’s Wellingtonian of the Year in 2009, has spent the past five years as head of Downstage and, before that, a career in arts-based not-for-profit operations, such as Director of the Queensland Writers Centre. She has substantial experience in volunteer and community engagement, fundraising through strategic partnership and first-hand knowledge of the challenges and effort required to develop a long term customer experience-based business – especially in a smaller urban environment.
“Zealandia is a living project in a small, vibrant and creative city, with goals that stretch long into the future.” Ms Beaton says. “The real success of the sanctuary is reflected in the support it gets from spirited and practical Wellingtonians – pitching in to give things of great challenge a go,” she adds. “This has created an amazing experience for the city and its visitors, and made a significant contribution to conservation and our natural heritage. There is much more promise still to be delivered and I am looking forward to be part of it; it’s an amazing Wellington story.”
According to Chair Denise Church, Zealandia is poised for soon-to-be-announced initiatives which will forge new steps on the journey. “The Board knows full well the value of the asset entrusted to us and how important it is that we create results through engagement and collaboration. We have 36,000 hours of volunteer work from the community each year that deserve payback through future viability of our operation. With that, and our conservation achievements, visitor objectives and education programmes all showing promise, we are enthusiastic about bringing in a new leader to nurture and harness the tremendous energy that goes into Zealandia to deliver an even stronger contribution for Wellington.”